Bentley’s new app lets you take a virtual spin in their luxury cars – anywhere in the world


The luxury carmaker has launched an augmented reality app to showcase its Bentayga SUV.
Image source: Supplied

Bentley customers – or luxury car enthusiasts – can now see how it feels to have a Bentayga Extended Wheelbase sitting in their driveway. There’s a catch, of course – you’ll have to be looking through your phone screen via Bentley’s new augmented reality app.

The app, available to download on the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store, allows users to personalise the virtual vehicle. You can choose exterior paints, leather colour and cabin styles, or stick to the two preset specifications of luxury or performance. Luxury has a rose gold exterior and interiors finished with porpoise and linen hide, while performance has a grey violet exterior with damson and linen leather accented with contrast stitching.

The ability to personalise a Bentley vehicle has been a profit-driver for the luxury carmaker – particularly across 2022. Speaking to Forbes Australia last year, the chief commercial officer of Mulliner (which, according to the Bentley website, is the part of the business that “exists to respond to the requirements of Bentley’s most discerning customers”) Paul Dickinson, said he’d tripled production of bespoke Bentleys since Mulliner’s 2020 relaunch. Bentley delivered profits of €575 million ($889 million) across the first nine months of 2022, an increase of 109 per cent compared to the same nine-month period last year.

But the new augmented reality app isn’t unique to Bentley alone. In 2022, luxury automaker BMW launched a new augmented reality experience (via a Google Play app) which allowed customers to digitally place a BMW i4 or iX into any real-world environment. Customers could also open and close doors, change the exterior paint colours and play with the lighting elements.

Toyota was way ahead of the curve – in 2019 it introduced an augmented reality experience for users without having to download an app. Instead, users could just click a banner ad on social media and launch the AR experience. Then, users could see the exteriors of 10 different car models and place the vehicle in any environment and explore it from all angles.

The trend will likely continue, with data showing revenue in the AR and VR market is projected to reach US$31 billion in 2023, and grow at a CAGR of 13.72% to US$52.05bn by 2027.

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